Spring Training and Yves Kline

jeff jones

The non-autographed variety set me back about 25 cents.

At present, I am particularly excited by “bad taste.” I have the deep feeling that there exists in the very essence of bad taste a power capable of creating those things situated far beyond what is traditionally termed “The Work of Art.” I wish to play with human feeling, with its “morbidity” in a cold and ferocious manner. 

Yves Klein

The 1981 Topps baseball card isn’t a particularly exciting visual affair. The most prominent feature of the card front is the ball cap that’s at the bottom of the card. Player photos have a color outline that gives way to a thin white border with the Topps logo placed in a small baseball in the right corner. Of course, it’s just a baseball card. Most people see them as worthless pieces of cardboard for children. I always get a kick out of people who say, “well, where’s the art in that?” Despite the term “art” being static and self-appointed to each individual, I believe if you have an iota of intelligence and an active imagination, you can find art and emotion in ANYTHING.

Jeff Jones had a rather unremarkable career with the Oakland Athletics, playing 5 seasons and ending with a 9-9 record. There is nothing remarkable about this card from a baseball standpoint, (beside the fact that it’s an Athletic) but what really struck me was the marvelous blue background; reminding me of Yves Klines’ painting “IKB 191.” (right) This color makes me feel a myriad of emotions:  the lapis lazuli yvess reminding me of my Catholic school upbringing (Mary’s robes were almost always painted this color because of the brilliance of it; the stone also was semi-precious making it a “must have” for artists of the Renaissance and Baroque period.) and the time in fourth grade David K. told me not to swallow the “Body of Christ,” but to keep it still in my mouth so we could satisfy our boyhood curiosity and inspect it. (In retrospect, I have no idea why this would be interesting.) I eventually brought the specimen back to the pew only to drop the now mushy wafer on the ground because of haste and overall blood rushing to the brain nervousness. Some busy-body ratted me out, and the congregation was stopped as I was dragged to the front of the altar and berated by the priest in a back room. (At least that’s ALL he did. wakka wakka!) There was a closet full of priest robes and between thoughts of the robes looking like Batman’s closet and me getting my ass kicked by my parents, I was just simply embarrassed. Nothing was said to my parents in the end, and I came out of the situation relatively unscathed….. ah, the life of a day dreamer…and the thoughts keep crashing into the shore as one wave leads to another.

P.S. thank you Jeff Jones 1981 Topps.

4 thoughts on “Spring Training and Yves Kline

  1. steve

    Spring training already started. There were actual fake games today. Oakland 10 San Francisco 5. Sam Fuld 2-3, 2 runs scored. Now about this bad taste, those 1981 Topps features the last of the black pajama white sox gowns including harold fish face baines rookie card…voted worst interview in major league baseball because he never liked to talk. Him and ozzy guillen used to drive up to Milwaukee together and according to guillen, the only thing baines ever said was “yeh, ok.” in response to ozzy asking to stop at burger king. I understand the Baines unprecedented enthusiasm. I’ve been to that Burger King many times. It hangs over the highway where usually there’s a walkway.

  2. Tall Tales and True Stories

    Am I the ONLY person who LIKED those uniforms that the White Sox wore during the Bill Veeck years? It sometimes seems that way. I think that all that Veeck was doing was sort of basing it on the uniforms the Chisox wore in 1910 or thereabouts.

    In my opinion, the uniforms that Jerry Reinsdorf switched the Chisox to were much worse. They were on a par with the Houston Astros tootie fruity, but just not as loud.

    I’ve seen uniforms today that are just as bad. Take, for example, the San Diego Padres “military” uniforms. Are they kidding? And some minor league teams do the same with the “army camouflage” theme.


    1. steve

      Glen, you’re probably confusing the 1971 red pinstripe sox uniforms with the 1910 uniforms. Those were the throwbacks, but the lettering of the black gown uniforms introduced by Veeck in 1976 was throwback lettering. The actual v-neck gowns were incomparable to any previous white sox uniform and that alone had me loving them….prison garb in a prison stadium-that old Comiskey Park. I’ve never been in a stadium more similar to a dungeon. Throw in those black gowns and it was a medieval paradise and that’s a good thing.

  3. Gary Trujillo Post author

    I am ALWAYS late at these responses.
    Yeah, Harold Baines was always a bit of a “nudnik.” I don’t remember him helping us much in the playoffs, but I would have to look it up to be certain. As I type this the A’s are killing the Dodgers 7-3.
    I liked the ChiSox uniforms, although I never cared too much for the team; or the A.L. Central for that matter (but i LOVE the Twins!)
    The Padres uniforms offend me in ways that I don’t care too get into at this moment. I’m too tired. Use your imagination.


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